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Do Food Chains Influence Who We Are?

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Touch the Soil News #780 (Feature photo – Joey Chestnut (center) wins a Krystal Hamburger Square Off by eating 103 Krystal burgers in 8 minutes – CC SA 2.0) Krystal is an American brand hamburger restaurant that – like so many others – is trying to differentiate itself. Founded in 1932 at the height of the Great Depression of the 30s, the company now has about 360 locations in the U.S. with over 6,500 employees. The company is owned by the Argonne Capital Group that also has sizeable investments in IHOP, Applebee’s, On the Border and Sonny’s BBQ. Fast food is the antithesis of eating out of the home garden.…

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Disposable Jobs & Unsafe Food?

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Touch the Soil News #750 (feature photo – A Fast Food Employee – CC SA 3.0) As we’ve always said, the food chain is ripe with insights about ourselves and the economy. The restaurant business is considered part of the larger “hospitality” industry that includes lodging and resorts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that annual employee turnover rates in the restaurants and accommodations sector peaked in 2007 at a whopping 80.7 percent. It is hard to imagine the training and learning challenges of an industry in which almost 81 employees out of a 100 at the beginning of the year will leave for a number of reasons. The…

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Got Minimum Wage Increase in 2017?

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Touch the Soil News #578 Arguments over minimum wage increases are the hottest in the food chain – particularly in the fast food industry. Workers say they can’t make a living and need more. Fast food operators say they can’t pay more and stay in business. The problem is both sides have truth in their positions. Top economists conclude that: The system cannot adequately afford both business and workers – so much for the American dream. Businesses in general can’t survive without consumers having purchasing power and businesses in general cannot afford to give workers sufficient purchasing power. Following is a listing of the states that in 2017 are making…

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Fast Food Workers and the $15 Wage Battle

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Touch the Soil News #350 Squaring off as perhaps the largest protest of Capitalistic inequality ever to take place in our lives is a global call for strike and protest on April 14, 2016. Energy is building for the global-scope strike that is anticipated to take place in over 300 cities in 40 countries on six continents. The movement began a few years ago when a small group of New York fast-food workers decided to strike and take action. Since that time, the movement has been growing by leaps and bounds, gaining momentum as it picks up home care, child care and education workers with similar sentiments. A couple of…

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America’s Food-Chain Workers – At the Forefront of Global Financial Change

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Touch the Soil News #258 On November 29, 2012 over 100 fast-food workers from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Domino’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut walked off their jobs in New York in strike for better wages and working conditions. These strikes have increased in number and are snowballing to include child care, home healthcare and convenience store workers. The movement is now national and under the banner of Fight for $15 – that is $15 an hour minimum wage across the board. The whole issue of a $15 minimum wage has become a focus of the Democratic Party in the 2016 elections. Understandably, America’s food-chain workers are focused on…

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Fight for $15 – Food-Chain Struggle – There’s more to the Story

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If you go back to March 9, 2015 in the news archives, you’ll see a story we did on a movement called the Food Chain Avengers. The group published a comic book on food chain workers who became heroes in getting basic wage increases. (Photo courtesy of Fight for $15) I remember we talked to a woman about the $15 wage who had been a waitress for over 20 years. She said it would never happen and the owner of the restaurant she worked for would never consider it. We’ll, we’re not sure it is going to happen either, but recently the voices for $15 have become louder and with…

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Fast Food Sales Migrating to C-Stores and Supermarkets

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Touch the Soil News #213 The other day, I purchased a fresh salad from the C-store where I get gas. In many rural towns, large C-store and gas stations have become the favorite stops on Friday and Saturday nights. The NPD Group – a research group specializing in consumer food trends – recently made an astonishing declaration. From March to June of this year, fast food purchases per customer made at supermarkets and c-stores was over six visits higher in an average four=week period. The data reveals that customers use convenience (c-stores) and grocery stores interchangeably with quick service restaurants (like McDonalds). So when we want fast food, it is…

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Something Fun – Food Ecommerce – Squeezing in Between Grocery Stores and Restaurants

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Touch the Soil News # 147 Appearing on the food landscape in America is a niche way of getting food. It’s formally called Food Ecommerce as its effectiveness is in part hinged on i phones for connecting with customers. It generally follows specialty food preparation – some of it local – and delivered to your house or location. The idea is to get consumers closer to the point of production. Venture capital and private investors, in the first half of 2015, invested over $550 million into individual companies and enterprises that fall into the Food Ecommerce category. In order to differentiate themselves from other food delivery companies, some companies focus…

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Can you Name the Largest Food Company in the World? (Part 2 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News # 146 Forbes Magazine and News has been one of the closest followers of Cargill, its finances and its global footprint. In its November 23, 2104 issue, Forbes writer Dan Alexander provided some rare insights into what Cargill is presently doing: Creating a $100 million cocoa plant in Indonesia. Putting in a $91 million livestock-feed factory in Korea. Building a large dairy feed facility in India capable of producing 1.2 million metric tons a year. All in all, Cargill has poured more than $3 billion into upgraded facilities, acquisitions and new projects around the world over the past year. Besides being directly involved with food production,…

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Can you Name the Largest Food Company in the World? (Part 1 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News # 145 Do you know who the world’s largest food company is? Many of us have not heard of this company because it is privately held and does not hit the news often. In fact, it is the largest privately held company in the United States. This does not mean that this company’s role in our food is as obscure as its name. It is a food behemoth that dominates all roads between the world’s farms and your dinner plate. The company’s vision is to be the global leader in nourishing people. Following are some facts of this company: This company has more descendants that are…

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